If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Numbers 19, Psalms 56–57, Isaiah 8:1–9:7, James 2. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Isaiah 8:1-9:7.
Although they had the great prophet Isaiah living among them and speaking constantly on behalf of God, Judah was in deep rebellion to God’s word and cared nothing for Isaiah’s prophecies. As people tend to do, they looked to more mystical sources for revelation instead of the written Law of God and the spoken teachings and prophecies of Isaiah. God rebuked his people for this in Isaiah 8:19. Instead of fooling around with false sources of spirituality, God through Isaiah called them back to his word: “Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn” (v. 20). When people look outside God’s word, they are dissatisfied (v. 21a) and end up cursing God (v. 21b). Instead of finding light in these sources, they find “distress and darkness and fearful gloom” (v. 22).
Chapter 9 opens against this bleak backdrop from chapter 8 by promising “no more gloom” (v. 1) but instead that “people walking in darkness have seen a great light” (v. 2). Isaiah is prophesying a day of victory for God’s people (vv. 3-5) but it starts with the birth of Christ, foretold in Isaiah 9:6-7. Whether people look to God for truth or not, God would (and did!) send his son to bring light into the world and he will come again to finish the work and establish his kingdom on earth. That is our hope, so let’s look to his word only for guidance and revelation and truth about how to live until his kingdom comes.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.